Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Frederick Knapp Family Letters, 1824-1850

Finding aid created by
Cheney J. Schopieray, October 2006, and Meg Hixon, July 2012

Summary Information
Title: Frederick Knapp family letters
Creator: Knapp family
Inclusive dates: 1824-1850
Bulk dates: 1838-1848
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
Abstract:
This collection contains correspondence addressed to members of the Knapp family of Walpole, New Hampshire, between 1824 and 1850. Frederick Newman Knapp received the majority of the letters from acquaintances in Walpole, Boston, and other places in New England, while attending Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School between 1838 and 1847. His parents, Jacob and Louisa Knapp, also received personal letters from family and friends.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994. M-3021.4, M-3057.5.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Frederick Knapp Family Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

Frederick Newman Knapp was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 19, 1821, the son of Jacob N. and Louisa Knapp. He had at least one brother, Francis. The Knapp family moved to Walpole, New Hampshire, when Frederick was a young child. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1843 and a divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School a few years later. He then became the preacher of the Congregational church in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he served until 1855, when he temporarily retired to Walpole because of an illness. During the Civil War, he served with the United States Sanitary Commission's Special Relief Service in Washington, D. C. After the war, he worked as a schoolteacher and schoolmaster in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He married Lucia Bradford on May 9, 1855, and they had four children: Louisa, Frederick, Sarah, and Maria. Frederick Newman Knapp died on January 12, 1889.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 78 letters addressed to members of the Knapp family of Walpole, New Hampshire, between 1824 and 1850. Frederick Newman Knapp received approximately 50 of the letters from acquaintances in Walpole, Boston, and other places in New England while attending Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School between 1838 and 1847. His parents, Jacob and Louisa Knapp, received personal correspondence from family and friends.

The bulk of the collection is made up of Frederick Knapp's incoming correspondence between 1838 and 1847. He received letters from friends at Walpole, New Hampshire; Harvard College; Newburyport, Massachusetts; and other New England towns. Fellow Harvard students provided Knapp with updates from Boston and Cambridge during his visits to New Hampshire. His Walpole friends occasionally reported news about their social lives and mutual friends. Some students commented on their educational experiences at Harvard, and one described a visit by Charles Dickens (February 13, 1842). Some letters are addressed to both Frederick and his brother Francis, who also corresponded individually with Frederick.

Frederick's parents Louisa and Jacob Knapp received around 25 letters from relatives and acquaintances between 1824 and 1850. The letters primarily concern the writers' personal lives in New York and around New England, and provide news from Walpole during the Knapps' time away from home. Frederick Knapp wrote 2 letters to his parents in 1848 and 1850. Louisa and Jacob's nephew Henry wrote one letter about the cotton industry around Mobile, Alabama (February 14, 1838). Later letters addressed to Jacob Knapp include one from Thomas Hill, who discussed the invention of the telegraph and the inventions of Samuel Colt (November 9, 1846).

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Boston (Mass.)
    • Cambridge (Mass.)
    • Colt, Samuel, 1814-1862.
    • Cotton growing--Southern States.
    • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.
    • Harvard Divinity School.
    • Harvard University--Students.
    • New England--Social life and customs.
    • Telegraph.
    • Walpole (N.H.)
    Contributors:
    • Knapp, Francis.
    • Knapp, Frederick Newman, 1821-1889.
    • Knapp, Jacob Newman, 1773-1868.
    • Knapp, Louisa.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
     
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1  
     February 22, 1824-February 23, 1850, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    Lyon, William H. Frederick Newman Knapp, Sixth Minister of the First Parish in Brookline 1847-1855: A Sermon Preached in the First Parish Meeting House November 22, 1903. Brookline, Mass.: Published by the Parish, 1904.